Germany supports OPCW mission in Syria

13.10.2013 - Press release

The Federal Foreign Office, along with the Federal Ministry of Defence, has prepared a training course for civilian inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) who are to be part of the UN mission overseeing the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

Twenty‑five civilian experts from the OPCW are due to arrive for the five‑day course at the UN training centre in Hammelburg (Lower Franconia) on Monday, 14 October.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the course:

“Germany emphatically supports the work being done in Syria by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Without the expertise and courageous engagement of the OPCW experts on the ground, it would be impossible to destroy the Assad regime’s highly dangerous chemical weapons. That is why we want to pass on Germany’s expertise in behaviour in conflict areas to the OPCW inspectors, so that they receive the best possible preparation for the difficult task ahead of them in Syria.”

The course has been organised in response to a request from the OPCW and is designed to prepare the UN mission’s civilian inspectors for their work under conflict conditions. Bundeswehr security experts will give the participants practical instruction in how to behave in situations which might arise in a dangerous environment.

The Federal Foreign Office is funding the course from its disarmament budget and has made available two million euros in emergency funding to date to help finance the OPCW’s tasks in Syria.

In addition, the Federal Government has provided significant logistical support for the UN and OPCW mission in Syria, by making available specially equipped planes.

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